Medical Weight Loss
Medical weight loss is receiving increasing attention in the media and in public life. From Oprah’s successful medical weight loss program and shift to healthy chef-prepared meals to successful weight loss surgery by Al Rocher. You see public figures battling the same sorts of weight problems that we battle in our own lives. With all the advertising, hype, and information available and bombarding us regarding weight loss and nutrition, it is hard to discern what kinds of information and programs have some evidence-based validity and what are really more advertising efforts for specific products and services that may or may not offer much hope of success. In this blog, I will try to point out as many useful and practical programs and solutions that have demonstrated scientific and evidence-based validity.
For example, here are a few concepts that have shown scientific merit and been successful in improving the weight loss outcomes:
- Support groups: Support groups and moral support from friends, colleagues and other people going through the same weight loss journey has been helpful at improving and maintaining weight loss.
- Meal replacements: These carefully formulated meal replacements are generally shakes that have low carbohydrate content and have been shown to improve weight loss success.
- Prescription medications: A number of prescription medications also have demonstrable effectiveness especially when prescribed as part of a comprehensive weight loss program. This small group of medications has been shown to be effective both for short-term weight loss and for long-term weight maintenance with minimal side effects.
- Exercise: Exercise is a key component, especially in the long-term weight maintenance phase. Studies demonstrate that individuals who exercise, particularly by walking 30-60 minutes daily, are successful at keeping to a healthy weight for the long-term
- Healthy food choices: Perhaps one of the most critical pieces for successful short and long-term weight loss is proper selection of foods that go into the shopping basket and find their way to our pantry shelves. Critical reading of every food label and constant vigilance to avoid unnecessary calories and carbohydrates play a critical role in achieving long-term successful weight loss.
- Vitamins and supplements: A surprising number of people who are overweight and appear to eat an ample diet have unrecognized vitamin deficiencies.Attention to these details and long-term vitamin supplementation play an important role in long-term health and avoidance of nutritional deficiencies.
- Weight loss surgery: Also known as bariatric surgery, plays an important and effective role for people who are unsuccessful losing the weight with medications, diet, exercise and a comprehensive medical weight loss program. While surgery is not for everyone, it is a valuable tool for individuals who qualify. It is important that people who do chose this option learn how to maximize its effectiveness for long-term success.